He moved to the U.S. with his family in 1886, at the age of 16
He was born-again in a Salvation Army meeting at age 16
The first healing he ever witnessed was of a young lady in a Methodist Church
His first wife, "Jennie" died in Africa on Dec. 22, 1908 (only six months after their arrival there)
He stayed in Africa another 4 years after his wife's death (raising their 7 children with his sister Irene's help)
Lake returned to the U.S. on Feb. 13, 1913
He married Florence Switzer in Sept. 1913.
Lake "wandered" around the U.S. preaching and fellowshipping until April 1914.
In early 1914, Lake traveled to England to attend a meeting with Pentecostal leaders.
While in England, Lake founded the International Apostolic Council, based upon the English organization, "The International Pentecostal Council".
When Lake returned to the U.S., he attended the formation meeting of the General Council of The Assemblies of God. Lake ceased using the original name for his organization so as to minimize confusion with the A/G.
Lake moved to Spokane, WA in September 1914.
He began ministering in "The Church of Truth". After six months he opened his own building which he called "Lake's Divine Healing Rooms". He began training "Divine Healing Technicians" in an organization he founded, called: The Divine Healing Institute.
From Feb. 1915 until May 1920, Lake and his "DHT's" reported over 100,000 healings.
Lake then moved from Spokane to Portland, OR, where he duplicated the work by founding a church and Healing Rooms.
After five years in Portland, Lake began traveling down the California coast establishing Healing Rooms and churches. He went to Houston, TX, in 1927 and founded a church and healing rooms there.
In 1931, Lake relocated to Spokane where he bought an old Methodist church and started his last work which included a church and a healing room in the church building. When Lake left Spokane the first time in 1920, he closed the Healing Rooms in the Rookery Building and never re-opened it. (The original building burned down in the late 1930's. Another COMPLETELY DIFFERENT building was built in its place. Lake never set foot in the new building.)
Lake died on Sept. 16, 1935 in Spokane, WA.
Lake was good friends with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Erich Weiss (aka: Harry Houdini), and W.T. Stead (a British editor and close friend of William Booth). Stead went down with the Titanic. He had also invited Lake to travel with him on the Titanic's maiden (and final) voyage. Lake turned down the offer.
(These notes were taken from Rev. Curry Blake's forthcoming book on the Life and ministry of John G. Lake.)
John G. Lake was a man greatly used of God during the first half of the 20th century. He was perhaps best known for his healing ministry which was centered in The Healing Rooms that he started in Spokane in 1915. During a five year period (1915-1920) Lake and his team of “Divine Healing Technicians” were used by God to affect over 100,000 healings. Dr. Lake trained his Technicians with a series of divine healing lectures.
John G. Lake was born in Ontario, Canada on March 18, 1870. He moved with his parents to the U.S. in 1886 and was saved in a Salvation Army meeting at about the same time. By the age of 21, he was married and was ordained in the Methodist Church. Lake's early memories were of sickness, death, funerals and grieving parents. Eight of his 16 brothers and sisters died of various diseases. His new wife also became sick and was on the verge of dying.
This was the condition of things when John first heard the message of healing. He immediately began a study of divine healing. His wife was healed through the prayers of a man some distance away, by the name of John Alexander Dowie. Lake moved his family to Zion, IL, in 1901, “For the purpose of studying divine healing so that can I learn it and teach it.”
In 1908 Lake and a small band of “faith” missionaries left the U.S. for South Africa. Immediately upon arrival, the missionaries began to cause a stir among the people and a riot among the religious. During the next five years, “The Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa” (the organization founded by Lake), started over 700 churches (125 “white” and 600 “native”). Miracles and healings such as had not been seen in almost 2000 years became almost commonplace.
During his first year in South Africa, his wife, Jennie, died suddenly while Lake was on a missionary trip into the jungle. By the time he returned, he had missed her funeral by 12 hours. He referred to this event as, “Satan’s masterstroke”. He remained in Africa for four more years with 7 children to raise and an organization of almost 250,000 relying on him for leadership. On February 1, 1913, Lake returned to the U. S. physically exhausted due to the strain of the magnitude of the African work. Upon his return to the U. S., Lake traveled around preaching and resting while fellowshipping with long missed friends.
By September 1913, Lake had remarried a woman that would prove to be as great a blessing to the world as she was to him. Florence Switzer had been a stenographer and secretary. She would sit on the front pew at every service Lake held, capturing every word in shorthand and later transcribing the sermons onto paper which we now read. Had she not become his wife, we would most likely not have the wealth of material from Lake which we now have.
In September 1914, Lake relocated to Spokane, WA where he ministered in a church for six months before launching his own ministry which became known as “Lake’s Healing Rooms”. When Lake left Spokane in 1920, the Healing Rooms he founded closed and were not re-opened (The building burned in the late 1930’s and an entirely new building was built in it’s place). In 1920, John moved his growing family (Lake, Florence, their 7 children from his first wife and now five more children by Florence.) to Portland, OR with a plan to duplicate the Spokane work. Which he did. Again, over 100,000 healings. After five years in Portland, Lake began to grow restless and launched out on a 6 year traveling ministry which resulted in the birth of churches, healing rooms, and healing campaigns in Sacramento, CA, San Diego, CA, and Houston, TX.
When Lake returned to Spokane, WA in 1931, he bought an old Methodist church and started his work over. For a while, he had healing rooms in the church, but they were shut down when he once again moved the church.
Dr. Lake (an honorary term bestowed upon him by his congregation because he was getting more people healed than the local doctors did) passed away on September 16, 1935. The ministry was picked up and carried on by Lake’s daughter, Gertrude and her husband, Wilford. They carried the ministry until Gertrude’s death in 1986 and Wilford’s passing in June of 1987. Shortly before Wilford’s passing, he appointed Rev. Curry R. Blake as the General Overseer of John G. Lake Ministries.
For a more in-depth study of Dr. Lake’s life and ministry, see Rev. Blake’s book, “John G. Lake - The Apostle of Divine Healing- The Life and Ministry of John G. Lake